Construction projects at school buildings throughout the district are on schedule and on budget, with phase one of work at three elementary schools expected to be completed by the end of December.

Construction projects at school buildings throughout the district are on schedule and on budget, with phase one of work at three elementary schools expected to be completed by the end of December.

"It's been a good summer and we got a lot of work done," said Tom Sisterhen of Smoot Elford McDaniels Construction Corp. Inc., the company responsible for managing the construction projects. "We're optimistic about the first phases."

Sisterhen said the sites will continue to look somewhat like a construction zone throughout the year as work moves through the next phases. He said orange fences and caution tape will be in place to keep people safe.

Straw will be put down in places where there is still dirt so mud will not be tracked into the schools when it is wet outside, he said.

Reynoldsburg students returned to class Aug. 25, so students attending the French Run, Herbert Mills and Rose Hill elementary schools will be moving around some, business manager Ron Strussion said.

Students in those schools will be either housed in modulars or shuffled around their buildings to accommodate the renovation projects as they progress.

"We don't have an empty building we can take and put a whole student body in, so we have to do the renovations at French Run, Herbert Mills and Rose Hill in phases," Strussion said.

Phase one of construction started at the beginning of summer. Strussion said work included taking care of any hazardous material in all three buildings followed by the reconstruction of those spaces, plus repaving the parking lots.

The projects at the elementary schools are part of a much larger plan that also includes construction of a second high school and a new elementary school on Summit Road, $13-million worth of work at the existing Reynoldsburg High School, another $8.5-million worth at Baldwin Road Junior High and $1.43-million worth of renovations to Taylor Road Elementary School.

Strussion said the work at Taylor Road Elementary and Baldwin Road Junior High is completed.

Phase two of the projects at French Run, Herbert Mills and Rose Hill elementaries will begin in January and is expected to end in April, he said.

He said the third phase of work at the three schools is expected to begin in April with a completion date of Aug. 17, 2011, which will coincide with the completion of the two new schools on Summit Road.

Strussion said renovation work should begin on the existing high school in June 2011.

"What will happen then is we will be able to move about half of the student population out of the existing high school into the new high school," he said.

The $6.5-million worth of work to be done at French Run include building a 7,463-square-foot-addition, ADA upgrades similar to those at Baldwin Road Junior High and installing a lift to the stage in the multi-purpose room.

Exterior doors and masonry have been replaced, and asbestos removed and an updated fire alarm and fire suppression systems have been installed.

Also, a new independent bus drop zone has been installed outside so parents and buses are not driving in the same place.

Other renovations included a new heating and cooling system, new electric systems, upgraded and new lighting and a new security and technology system.

Similar work was completed at Herbert Mills and Rose Hill elementary schools.

The $6.6-million in renovations at Herbert Mills Elementary included construction of a 3,600-square-foot addition to the building and installation of a new roof over the 1962 and 1993 sections of the building. Also, sidewalks were repaired and replaced.

The $6.3-million project at Rose Hill Elementary included a 3,330-square-foot addition, a new roof and new bus loading zone.

The $13-million worth of work planned at Reynoldsburg High School is still in the architectural design phase. Improvements there will be similar to those at the other schools and will also include replacing the air conditioning systems and installing new computer networks and a new security system.

Overall, Strussion said, all projects are under budget so far, with some at budget or possibly 5 to 20 percent under budget.

"We're at schedule," he said. "The first phase is the toughest phase of the three, just getting them set up and with the permits and all, but we're right at schedule."

dowen@thisweeknews.com

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